Pennies for Partnerships Update

Hello everyone! Thanks to all who support the Pennies for Partnerships project so I am giving you an update:

The project supports Tibetan Refugees in the Organic Farming Community while at the same time assisting Indian Villagers who live on less than a dollar a day and experience hunger in their daily lives. I have been told the Tibetan Organic Farmers are struggling the most due to poverty in the refugee community while working the most labor intensive job. There is much concern for these farmers and the Tibetan government in exile is very thankful for your support to the farmers as the outreach assists greatly with economic development while the organic market is being developed in India.

The project purchases 25 kg (55 pounds) of organic rice for $14.00 each and delivers to the doorsteps of those in need.

Thanks to you we have distributed to date to 105 household a total of 5775 pounds of rice. With the recent receipts the planning for the next distribution is in the works. At this time we can purchase 58 bags of rice and distribute an additional 3190 pounds. This would bring the total to date: 8965 pounds of rice and 163 households.

There is a fund raiser in the works to add to this number because there will be a great deal of personal cost and time to travel to the Tibetan Farming Community as well there are substantially many more people in need as India is in the top 29 countries with the highest hunger index. If interested in supporting this project there is an online option for gifting rice which is through the Give Forward website (see Give Now button on the left). As well you can mail a check or make a direct deposit if you prefer; just comment or e-mail me and I will provide you details of how.

According to the Economist magazine India ranked 67th among 85 countries in terms of access to food with an index of 24.1. Values between 20 and 29.9 on the index denote an “alarming” hunger situation. (data taken from

Another report from 2009 stated that 230 million people are undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5). According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India, more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices. ((data taken from

Thank you to you all for your continued support and effort to assist the Organic Farmers while addressing hunger in our global community. Your efforts are what make this possible.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey


Continued: Let’s Talk About the Issues: Human Rights

This post is a continuation of the post from below:

An ALL Monk Non-violent Peace March

In a noticed handed out to the today by the Kirti Jeypa Monastery in Dharamshala April 26th at the prayer vigil and send off off for the monks Peace March to Delhi they highlighted the objectives. This is taken directly from the handout.

“We, monks at the Kirti Jeypa Monastery in Dharamshala, north India, and Sukhe Kirti Monastery in Darjeeling, east India, are organizing an ALL Monk Peace March from Dharamshala to Delhi. This march is aimed to express support to our bretherns and fellow monks in Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, Tibet.

Through this march, we are putting forward three point demands to the International community and the Chinese government:

1) We appeal to the peace and justice loving people, governments, parliamentarians, NGOs and particularly our Buddhist brothers and sisters all over the world, for extensive campaigns and to pressurize the Chinese government to immediately stop the ongoing brutal crackdown in Ngaba.

2) We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Tibet including the Panchen Lama and in particular recently detained Tibetans from Ngaba including Lobsang Tsundrue and Lobsang Dhargay from Kirti Monastery.

3) We urge Chinese government to respect human rights, freedoms of expression and freedom of religion of all Tibetans inside Tibet. IN particular the monks should be allowed to freely pursue thier spiritual studies and be allowed to conduct the manastic administrative affairs in a free atmosphere for the wellbeing of resident monks and spiritual heritage of the monastery.

We urge all the justice and peace loving people and governments worldwide to support our just cause.”

This is to provide more details as to the purpose of the non-violent peace march which found many Tibetans today with a heave heart as they saw they fellow members of the community depart for their long journey.

To make a contribution to Pennies for Partnerships you can either gift online look for the button to the left or

CONTACT me Directly through the comment section or at (sorry can”t get it to link at this time).

and I can give options for direct deposit in Fayetteville, AR or you can mail a check

Thank you,


Let’s Talk About the Issues: Human Rights

I sit with a heavy heart as I just watched approximately 150-200 Kirti monks (from Dharamsala monastery) leave the Dalai Lama’s temple in McLeod ganj. The feeling of intense sadness and worry loomed in the air as the community watched the monks depart for the 500 kilometer march to Delhi. In an effort to show solidarity with their fellow monks in Ngaba, Tibet the Kirti monks in India are participating in a peace march to Delhi, which I have been told will take approximately 20 days.

Today, April 26th, The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community joined in special prayer at The Dalai Lama’s temple with prayers for the Kirti Monastery monks and the Tibetan community of Ngaba County, Tibet. In addition prayers were made for the release of the Panchen Lama who has been missing since 1995.

The recent crackdown on the Kirti monastery in Ngaba County, Tibet has brought about intense military presence and restrictions of movement on the people of Ngaba especially within Kirti Monastery. Below is a summary of the Tibetan Women’s Association press releases calling for International assistance in raising awareness of the extreme human rights violations and mistreatment of the monks and the Tibetan community.

As you will read below you will see the situation continues in Tibet after 52 years of brutal crackdowns and presence of the Chinese military which continues to violate human rights. These are reasons why we in the free countries need to take a stance to show support for the Tibetans inside Tibet and outside Tibet. I know I have spent a great deal of time requesting your financial contributions for the Pennies for Partnerships projects with little attention to the issues as to why the Tibetans are in exile. Tibetans fled to India in 1959 to find refuge from the Chinese occupation which has forcibly restricted them from their freedoms and opportunities of self determination.

As we become aware of refugee issues we become aware of the extreme conditions in which they live today. They are separated from their homeland which includes for many their families and their culture. In India, although they have found safety they have also found many struggles. Poverty is only one of the concerns, which is why I ask for your support to the Tibetan Farmers but I also ask for your support for Human Rights in Tibet.

Please if you have a way of sharing this information with others so they can become informed please do so. Also at the bottom of the page I have included a link to a very good news source to keep abreast of the situations inside Tibet.

Current TWA Press Releases
Exile Tibetans Demand Immediate International Intervention into the Deepening Crackdown in Kirti Monastery- April 24 (summary)

In the aftermath of the deepening crackdown in Kirti Monastery and the ensuing arrest of hundreds of monks, the Tibetan Women’s Association and Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet organized a mass protest rally in Dharamsala on April 24 to condemn the ongoing crackdown in Tibet. Hundreds of Tibetans; monks, nuns, school children and lay people along with Tibetan supporters marched from Tsuglakhang temple in Mcleod Ganj to Kachari Square in Lower Dharamsala demanding global vigilance and arbitration over the heightened Chinese repression in Amdo Ngaba.

On Thursday (April 21) two elderly Tibetans, Dongko (male, aged 60) and Sherkyi (female, aged 65) were killed after enduring excessive beatings from the Chinese police. The two people died in their attempt to prevent the 300 Kirti monks from forcibly being hauled into the trucks driving them to an undisclosed location. Eyewitnesses claim that “people had their arms and legs broken, one old woman had her leg broken in three places, and cloth was stuffed in their mouths to stifle their screams.”

On Wednesday (April 20), several hundred officials from nearby counties gathered at Kirti Monastery to conduct ‘patriotic education’. According to International Campaign for Tibet, “in scenes that appear to be reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution, when monks gave answers that the officials did not approve of, the monks were severely beaten.”

Since the last many weeks, Kirti Monastery has been turned into a virtual prison with foods being impounded, movements restricted and the 2500 monks being made to starve. Kirti Rinpoche (living in India) has appealed for international support to save Kirti monastery in the wake of the crisis facing the monks and the local people in Ngaba.

Contrary to the Chinese government’s claim that the condition in Amdo Ngaba is normal, the video footages and the still images that came out of Tibet showed that following the unrest, Ngaba has been under severe lockdown with heavy presence of paramilitary and armed forces.

“The crackdown on the Tibetans by the Chinese authorities impedes the international human rights conventions that China signed and ratified especially the Right to freedom of religion’ and the Right to freedom of thought” said Lukar Jam, the vice President of Gu Chu Sum Movement for Tibet.

Tension is rife in the region with foreign journalists being barred from entering the restive region and with the phone and information communication channels also being blocked. The absence of international intervention and lack of adequate legal protection and free media coverage will only exacerbate the situation.

We urge the United States Government to raise this crucial issue during the annual meeting on human rights between the United States and China scheduled to be held next week in Beijing. We call for the urgent intervention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion, International Human Rights organizations, the Global Buddhist Associations and the world leaders to pressurize the Chinese government to immediately stop the crackdown, end the siege in Ngaba and to release the arrested monks of Kirti monastery.

TWA Solidarity with Ngaba Kirti Monastery – April 13th (summarized)

The current situation in Ngaba Kirti Monastery is of grave concern as 2500 monks are at risk of starvation due to the complete blockade by Chinese military.

In rehash of the events which occurred since March 17th , intensified Chinese security in Ngaba County, Tibet, restricted all Tibetans as of March 20th from ceremonial practices. In addition, all regular religious programs in the monastery were suspended indefinitely.

On March 21st Kirti Monastery was subjected to the Chinese Patriotic re-education campaign initiated inside their monastery. The so called “love your country, love your religion” campaign was conducted over a five day period.

Between the dates of March 22nd and March 25th community members were arrested and detained (a total of 33 arrested which 22 people are still detained: 8 monks and 16 lay people). Recently reports of Tibetan monks under the age of 18 have been taken by force from the Kirti Monastery along with youth in the community who have been arrested.

As of April 7th Chinese security forces cordoned three of four gated entrances by constructing cement walls restricting all movement in and out of the monastery; therefore, no one is allowed to come or go and the food offerings from local Tibetans, which sustain the monks, have been completely prohibited. The grave concern now is starvation of 2500 monks who are directly affected by the crackdown.

April 1st to April 8th brought about complete blockade of the Monastery with extreme restrictions of movement, harassment, and food shortage. The authorities up to this point have taken drastic measures to quell any possibility of continued solidarity or show of support. At this time the monastery officials have maintained a peaceful environment with continued emphasis on non-violence. The concern now is how long can the monks sustain with no food, how long will the human rights violations persist and how long will the monks remain quiet?

Due to the extreme conditions of human rights violations in Ngaba County Tibet, TWA appeals to the international community and the United Nations to urgently issue intervention to stop the ongoing security clampdown and arbitrary arrests and detentions of Tibetans. TWA urges the authorities to immediately stop the deplorable human rights violations of food denial and forced starvation imposed on the monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County. In addition the restrictions on freedom of movement must be lifted.

Please we ask not only the Tibetan community but the international community to join in solidarity with our Tibetan brothers and sisters in Ngaba County, Tibet. In addition, we pray for the wellbeing of the 2500 monks directly affected by the intensified security and restriction of food supply. Please join us around the world in support.


Thank you for your time in reading and becoming informed. Also keep the monks in India who are marching to Delhi in your prayers for safety in addition to all those in Ngaba County, Tibet who are under such intense restrictions.

Keep current with Tibetan News:

Also you can show your support for the Tibetan community and Human Rights in Tibet by taking one simple step and placing your facebook picture as the Panchen Lama who is the youngest political prisoner in history taken at the age of six and been missing since 1995. He would have been 22 yesterday but no one of the Tibetan community knows of his where abouts.

Thank you and if you are interested in supporting the Pennies for Partnerships Project there is a link in the side bar for gift giving.

Much appreciation to you all for keeping the Tibetan community in the forethought.


Pennies for Partnerships – Give Forward

Hello. I am happy to post the opportunity to support the Pennies for Partnerships Rice Drive to address hunger through the Give Forward fund raising option.

You can now give the gift of rice through one simple click on the above link. The fund raiser has been established with a first time goal of obtaining $5000.00 but as we are all aware there are many more people to be fed than just those who would benefit from this amount. Obviously the project is able to accept beyond this amount but this would be a wonderful start.

An article in 2009 noted that there are “230 million people undernourished in the rural poor population”

Food inflation in India has become a growing concern. In the news in March it was reported that food costs have soared between 2009 and 2010 by 25%. In addition one of the reports noted that India has about half of the world’s under-nourished children. This is creating difficulties for addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals to be obtained by 2015. The international community can assist.

For more information about the hunger issues of India read the article “Hunger Haunts India” posted back in October.

“The country has a high “hunger score” of 24.1 and ranks behind all its neighbours, barring Bangladesh. Values between 20 and 29.9 on the index denote an “alarming” hunger situation.”

The report mentioned that even though in India there is advancement in the middle class there is also a dimension of great concern such as those who are deprived due to vulnerability, powerlessness, exploitation, marginalization and alienation which perpetuates poverty in certain sectors of society. These are the people we are trying to reach with the Pennies for Partnerships project.

Please if you have the ability to give we are currently in the next planning phase for distribution and your contribution is much appreciated.

You can give today through the Give Forward website link listed at the top of the page

or contact me directly.

Gifts of all size are greatly beneficial to those who often go hungry in a day.

Thank you for your consideration and generosity. Please remember you can also give by sharing this link and the link to the Give Forward site with your e-mail contacts, family, friends, colleagues, and social networking sites like facebook and twitter. It all helps.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Pennies for Partnerships Receives Support from 6th Grade Class in New Jersey

I am so happy to announce Pennies for Partnerships’ first gift from a caring and compassionate group of 6th graders who attend the Holy Trinity Interparochial School in Westfield, NJ.

I was recently notified that a group of young students explored the details of Pennies for Partnerships and found it to be a cause in which they believed in and wanted to support the idea of addressing hunger in our global community. The project was first introduced by one of the Pennies for Partnerships’ longtime supporter Denise Brezik. Aware of the social studies curriculum which included the study of India, Denise sent the blog to the teacher to plant the seed of interest. The teacher, Mrs. Cullinan presented the blog to the students who showed great interest in the project. She presented the students with the opportunity to develop a way in which they could show their support. The students decided they wanted to all contribute by gifting some of their personal money to buy rice to address hunger.The students pooled together their resources and made a gift offering of $100.00 to purchase rice to gift to people in the Indian villages who often experience hunger due to destitute poverty.

In addition to their fundraising efforts they used their creative efforts to artistically design a lovely card which incorporates not only the beauty of the Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, common in Northern India (and often seen just outside my window) but also the large bag of rice which is the signature of Pennies for Partnerships. Symbolically they showed the growth of beautiful flowers which I portray as the beauty of the seed of compassion.

I would like to sincerely thank all the students of Mrs. Cullinan’s 6th grade class for their $100.00 gift and their most kind words of encouragement for the continuation of the project. In addition, I would like to remind them that it is the people like themselves who are the reason this project exists; I am only their messenger. As a representative of those who will benefit from this most generous gift, I would like to sincerely thank all who participated.

Posted above are the pictures of the lovely card.

As well I want to say to the 6th graders:

“Your actions are exemplary of great change agents and I am confident you will all make a difference in the future of our global community! Keep up the good work!”

If you or anyone you know might be interested in developing a program in their classrooms, churches, sororities, clubs, groups or organizations, I am happy to assist with providing materials that could help to enhance the opportunity; such as powerpoint presentations, flyers, or ideas for events.

In addition one great way to partner with the project would be to share the link to this blogsite with your contacts in your e-mail account as well as with your facebook friends, your family and anyone you think might be interested.

Please feel free to contact me at

Again thank you to everyone who believes in the seed of compassion and giving.

Kind regards,


Pennies for Partnerships Development

Hello everyone. I apologize for the delay in posting. My travels have brought me back to McLeod Ganj, India where my first interest in the Tibetan refugee population was ignited in 2008. I arrived here two weeks ago and it has been a little bit hectic as I have moved three times and have been sick for almost the entire 2 weeks. So I certainly apologize. In addition I am also volunteering with the Tibetan Women’s Association who I worked with on my first visit here in 2008. It is so great to back working in the office with these incredibly intelligent and committed women. Their advocacy work is immense and in addition to the Pennies for Partnerships I think they will keep me busy working on grants and research for publications.

Meanwhile the Pennies for Partnerships has not gone unattended all together. I have been working on partnering with a nonprofit organization in Arkansas to help facilitate the development of the project which will also hopefully provide an online payment option. In addition, I just discovered a wonderful nonprofit organization that partners with grassroots projects like this around the world; thanks to a great mentor who initially started a social service organization here in India but is now completely self reliant Lha Charitable Trust. The application process is in the works to partner with the organization located in the United States so more details to come on both these wonderful potential opportunities.

So to date the project has facilitated gifts of rice to 105 families with a total of 5775 pounds of rice delivered. Thanks to the many kind, generous gift giving people who have made it possible to deliver to the peoples doorsteps to ensure they receive 100% of your generosity. The next distribution is in the planning but because it requires some travel to the location where the organic farmers are located it will still be several weeks. In addition, there is a need for increased funding to make the next distribution even bigger and better than before.

I will soon be meeting with the official from the Tibetan Department of Home who oversees the entire Tibetan Organic Farmers project and I will address the planning for the next purchase of rice from the Dheradun Farmers.
My time in Bylakuppe was very informative as to the training and research that has gone into the effort to have all farmers switch over to Organic farming.

The training assists farmers with understanding the natural resources such as using cow manure to enrich fertilization. They walked me through the entire process:

If you or anyone is interested in participating by giving a gift of rice which supports organic farmers and reaches out to people who suffer from hunger please contact me directly at

Also sharing this information with your contacts, on your facebook throughout your network is also a great way to give- please provide the link to this site or give them my e-mail address

Thanks again to everyone for all you have done and continue to do to make it possible to outreach to those who struggle in the developing world and live with extreme issues of poverty, hunger and oppression.

Also exciting plans to come involving school projects, community projects and more ways you can get involved thanks to the many wonderful people and their creative thoughts and ideas. This is only made possible because of you. I am only the messenger and it gives me great joy to be your ambassador of giving.

Kind regards,